San Diego, California

San Diego, California

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Rat Infestation Of California Neighborhood Is Being Blamed On One Woman

A woman known as the 'Birdseed Lady' has been linked to a growing rat problem in San Francisco.

ABC 7 in the Bay Area says hundreds, possibly thousands, of pounds of birdseed have been dumped around Glen Park over the past two years by the Birdseed Lady.

Pest control contractors have been setting out traps in sewers to assess the problem.

San Francisco's Helen Diller Playgrounds is seeing a big increase in rats, where kids play in one of city's nicest playgrounds.

Store owner Janet Tarlov with the Glen Park Merchants Association, has tried to clean up the piles of birdseed.

"Usually 15-30 pounds a time. And I had to do this multiple times a day," said Tarlov.

She has seen the Birdseed Lady and tried to intervene.

"A woman was coming around with a cart, with a pull-around grocery cart filled with bird seed and dumping it," said Tarlov. "When I told her no you can't do that, that's going to attract rodents, she spit on me."

The excessive birdseed has attracted rodents and caused thousands of dollars of damage to Tarlov's business. Her store was shut down temporarily, exacerbating the amount of time and money lost.

"It's getting close to $100,000. It's rough. We're trying to recover from the pandemic," said Tarlov.

The City of San Francisco forbids spreading birdseed in public places.

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